Saturday, January 31, 2009

St. George - Day 2

Got the morning off to a right start:

And while Bob and I were doing that, Newby was breaking a derailleur on the Zen Trail while trying to get more hours in. We thought his bad luck was all done for the day when we caught up with him. Guess not.

That is 3 out of 4 for Newby. The Zen is costing him lots of money in wheels, derailleurs and tubes. Please note Bob modeling the popular booda belly.

Newby stealing from kids so he can keep track of time.

A view off of the Zen Trail looking over St. George

After hitting the Zen and the race course we headed toward Bear Claw Poppy which is when Bob discovered his blown Lefty Fork. Dang. At least it was discovered at the end of the ride!

With the help of Red Rock Bicycle here in St. George, Bob scored a Stumpjumper rig to ride tomorrow. That was super cool of them to help us out like that.

At least Bob bottles are nicely colored.

Friday, January 30, 2009

St. George, UT

I love it when we go from this

To this.

Nope, that isn't a Chris you see. That is a Bob. Chris is working the FIS Freestyle World Cup events this weekend at Deer Valley Resort and is a very busy boy so he has to skip this short and sunny trip down south this time. Oh well, there will be more of these for sure.

It is soooo great to be out and about and not be in my basement putting down what feels like useless watts. Glad we made it happen and have a good weekend ahead of us. I need one of those right now.

Hoping for to hook up with local Newbie tomorrow for a grand ole Tour de St. George on our mtb's. Yee Haw!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wahine Farms 100% Kona Coffee

Shonny V has been working hard to produce some wicked coffee in Kona. Check out the website here.

I thought this was interesting on how coffee is made, straight from Shonny:

"Here is a quick and dirty breakdown of what goes into that primo cup-o-joe….. A coffee orchard requires three to fours years of maintenance before a significant crop can be harvested. Coffee trees typically bloom in the late winter to early spring, with harvesting occurring in the fall through late winter. Mature coffee beans form into clusters of red berries, referred to as “coffee cherry”. Harvesting is all done by hand- , often times on steep, rocky slopes- and can be quite demanding. Coffee cherry must be ‘pulped’ the day it is picked at a pulping mill to remove the outside layer from the beans. After pulping, these beans are referred to as parchment and are then washed and dried in the sun for 5 to 7 days. After 30 days of ‘rest’ in the parchment stage the coffee is milled and the parchment skin is removed. The coffee beans are then in the ‘green bean’ stage and ready for roasting. The roasting process is carefully monitored to ensure the highest quality cup of Kona coffee."

All right now, drink up!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

It Worked

All your good vibes, prayers and thoughts you all sent my way and my moms way did some good. Mom got healthy enough again to get released from the hospital just a few nights ago. She is now trying to enjoy what is left of her Maui vacation before she has to go back home.

She is still on meds to fight the infection that came back on her which is what got her in the Maui hospital in the first place and one in which she picked up from dad when visiting him in the nursing home. She is extremely happy to be out of the hospital and seems to be doing well enough although the fight still continues.

Now we just need to hope the drugs that seem to be working continue to work so she can get rid of this infection once and for all. She has been sick most of Dec and Jan now and her body isn't up for much of a big fight at a whopping 98 lbs. now.

As for riding, it has been the only thing making life easier on me. It is such a relief to get out and get all the stress off my back for a few hours. It has been balmy around these parts these days and with these views you can see how the stress would evaporate.

When the stress is overwhelmingly bad I can't help but just looking up into the mountains and wondering how they can sit there almost completely unchanged for centuries while life for us can change in a second.

Through all these times that I have been through with my own injuries and with my parents problems, I have found true tranquility in nature, something that I really didn't know about myself until now. I guess I probably already knew that deep down but until you are sitting in that situation with you hands completely tied, unable to think of what your next move is going to be and completely unable to make a decision, you don't really know what works.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Feel Sick

So much for the "Parents Update" that I just got posted. I just got a call that my mom is in the hospital in Hawaii. I seriously cannot handle much more at the moment. I feel like bursting into tears although I just did. The worst part was that I wanted to call my dad and get comfort but I can't for reasons in the last post. That pretty much sucks really bad. I feel alone with a big problem. At least I have a wonderful and extremely caring brother up in WA that I can talk to. Without him right now to bounce my feelings off of, I would be in an extreme world of hurt.

My parents are getting old and have a fair amount of problems that they are dealing with and the bottom line is that I am going to lose them some day. And sometimes that day just seems moments away. This is one of those days. I feel sick right now and am shaking. I am writing because I hoped it would help but the anxiety I am feeling right now is overwhelming.

As much as I hate to say it, about 5 days into this new year of 2009 I still had high hopes for a new year with just hoping for healthier situations. Last year I broke all the bones I could, my mom got sick, dad had more strokes, I had friends that got cancer - some survived, some didn't and some are still fighting to this very moment. But about 5 days into this new year I kind of got a little worried about my hopes for a "new" year after a friend had a stroke (thankfully he was not debilitated in any way) and then got word of a co-worker that needed a heart transplant. Ok, ok, I thought to myself I can do this. Its not super bad yet. 09 is ok still.

Then about 4 days ago Chris's Aunt has a bad fall, breaks her ankle and has to have a rod put in her ankle. Ok, she is alive and well and is now in a rehab unit until she can walk and do things on her own again. She is being well cared for. And I think, I can do this one too although I feel really bad for what she is going through - been there/done that....almost. I also think, ok, that was the 3rd thing to happen. Maybe we are done? Maybe?? Just maybe??

Nope, yesterday my cousin got clocked hard by an out of control skier and had to be taken to the ER in Salt Lake City. She suffered head and leg injuries.

And now this morning I get the call about my sweet and beloved mom.

I am still shaking darn it. I was hoping that writing this would work. Oh well.

What can you readers do to help? If you haven't called your parents and you are able, will you please think about calling them right now? It is that moment you can't that is just gut wrenching so take the time too do that if possible. For those that can't, just call a loved one. Someone that means everything to you. You don't know when they won't be there to answer your call.

That is all I ask aside for some prayers please too.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Parents Update

A lot of you have been asking about how my mom and dad are doing. Thank you for asking - it really means a lot to me.

In these last few weeks we finally got dad settled in his 3rd nursing home which we are choosing to call an assisted living facility. Dad has great care there as the nursing staff is very attentive and the ratio of staff to patients is really good. We are pleased with the quality of care he is getting but maybe not so pleased with the extraordinary spendy price tag it comes with. But you know, they made the made the money and saved it and now its time to put it to good use by actually spending it for a great cause which would be both dad AND moms health. It is nice to know that dad is in a rippen sweet place, although its not HOME for him.

It has been a hard adjustment for us all but one that was always just around the corner for us to make. You want what is best and you do what you think is best...but its always with reservation. There has been a lot of that lately. Very tough decisions.

Mom is adjusting to life without dad around but at the same time has her own health needs to attend to. Her cyst that was to be totally removed was just drained instead and seems to be disappearing. It was a godsend that she did not have to endure a full surgery to have this accomplished. She is really too fragile for that.

But because she is so fragile, she just recently picked up a bacteria from the "assisted living facility" while visiting dad and is now under care for that. If it is not one thing it is another with older parents!

The good news is that we got her infection cleared up enough to get her off to Hawaii safe and sound for a much needed respite (although she had to push it back a week). She deserves time away after caring for dad for 3 years now after his massive stroke that took "only" his ability to communicate away from him. No, I haven't been able to talk WITH my dad for years now. Just TO him and even then I don't know if he understands me. I miss him although he is there.

So all in all they are "well" (if I really dare to use THAT word) but are both adjusting to their new lives of being apart after 56 years of marriage. It is not easy for them or us right now.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Don't Let Chris See this

because this will be what's next!

Pretty cool stuff.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ski Run

After working 14 years at Deer Valley Ski Resort, the Sherwins finally got a ski run named after them.

Sherwins Bowl would have been a good one too don't you think?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Winter Training Precautions

Cool was 40 degrees today in Heber so I was very comfortable while riding outside. That is pretty much a miracle in January!

A few things about winter riding that I noticed today are that all those yards with fences that enclose dogs that like to chase you SUCK because all the snow makes it extremely easy for dogs to jump the fence. Luckily the ones I am thinking of didn't quite clear it today although they did try.

And one puffy poodle who was a bit angry to see a cyclist, I might add, forgot the fence was there all together. That was funny stuff to watch him haul a#$ towards the fence so completely focused on me that he totally forgot about the fence. "Yipe!!" was the last peep I heard from that doggie.

The other thing is that cars just simply don't expect a nut job like yourself to be out on your bike in the middle of winter so you need to be extra careful.

In addition, there are sections of pavement that sit in non exposed places making it slick. Watch for those! Not everything is melted off at the same time depending on exposure.

The width of the roads can be smaller with all the snow surrounding and on them too. So be prepared to have to time things accordingly so that all cars and you can fit through at the same time. You get really good at timing things that is for sure!

And when you get back in to the nice WARM house of yours, expect to have the overwhelming sense of needing to use the facilities (even if you didn't have to a second ago) and plan accordingly. You certainly don't want to be running through the house in all your wet gear even though, believe me, that is what you would like to do!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Do Sports Drinks Really Work?

This looks like a cool happening in Heber City's backyard next weekend if anyone is interested. Battle at Soldier Hollow Winter Tri.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Java Cow - Park City, UT

Tonight we got together with our wonderful friends, Keith and David, from Tennessee and local Park City shop owners of Java Cow, Ken and Marcie. Great people - great fun!

In Java Cow on Main Street PC they had THE BEST tees. Ever heard of the "Life is Good" tees? These "Life is Crap" tees are a play off of those.

Here is a just a small sample of what they had in store:

Can you spare a square?

Oh lordy I know this one!

And this one...

If you can't read it, this one says "My ex's house" on it

Those were good for a good laugh that is for sure.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

VO2 Test

Why do I do these kinds of things to myself. Is it because I like pain? Maybe so.

I went in to see Dr. Max Testa. We are so lucky have a guy like this lurking around the valley and in Park City too. Really cool. I say take advantage of having him around if you are able. He knows his stuff and can relate to a cycling mind more than any other doctor I have ever been to. He gets it, understands it and puts it all to use for you.

So yeah....about the test. Max wanted me to come in and have a V02 test done. I have never ever had one done. Nothing like doing that right off the bat after taking some time off the bike right!? Ouchy. hurt but it didn't hurt nearly as much as an actual race because it is very short lived.

Once I got on my bike that was attached to a computrainer and got my face mask weird thing on, they then hooked me up to all the tubes that measure everything I was ready to go. There was some discomfort in the device you put your mouth over because it doesn't allow for any swallowing or gulping but does allow for lots of drooling like dog. So I was obsessing over this small detail for most of the duration of the test 20 min test because I couldn't "gulp". It was hard to put that out of my mind which of course finally happened when pain set in. Once that set in I didn't think about much else - funny how that works.

For those of you that don't know what the test looks like, check out someone else getting it done with Max here. They start you out easy with a low amount of watts and increase the wattage every 2 minutes until you are brought essentially to a race pace effort and max heart rate. It is truly a bundle of joy I tell you. Hammering in a lab with no music attached to tubes rules! Ha!

After it was all said and done, Max was very pleased with the end result number (my Vo2) along with how many watts I was able to get to before having to shut down the test. That certainly bodes well for my mid off season confidence level! I needed that. You just never know where you are fitness level wise until you get some solid numbers to ponder and luckily its looking like I am right on track.

Ah yes, then it was off to the heavenly land of Costco and the views behind it were amazing.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sliced and Diced

I wish I was talking about vegetables but instead I am talking about my body. No, I didn't eat it again on the bike (shocker right?) but I did go in to the Dermatologist for a simple routine check up (for nothing in particular I might add). Just figured that I haven't seen a Derm in about a decade and given what I do with my life, it might be a good idea.

And before I could introduce myself to the doctor, out comes the blowtorch, knives, and needles suddenly surrounding me like a bad habit. As he was cutting and blow torching every limb of my body, I told him that I really didn't sign up for this today!

Before I knew it I was walking out of there looking like a mummy with bandages all over. Ok, so I am exaggerating but I did walk out of there pretty dumbfounded at all that had just gone down in the last 20 minutes.

A simple CHECK UP hugh? Not so much.

A trip to our beautiful Yoga Studio, Lotus Leaf Yoga in Heber was definitely in the cards after this one. And while there we all got a good chuckle with local Heber-ite, Pete, who was kind enough to exhibit what a true Heber Yogi looks like.

Please note the cowboy boots and the flannel accompanied by a very nice freshly cleaned yoga mat (with tea tree oil of course) and the latest edition of Yoga Magazine. Pete was chuckling too on this one.

But, really, you should see this guy do a shoulder stand. Amazing. I can't even come close (it requires "melting your heart" which is just the opposite of what you do in cycling with your nice humpback that you acquire). I am determined to get there though. But this one, my friends may take some serious time as the muscles needed to do a shoulder stand seem to be less than developed from WAY too much time on two wheels.

Monday, January 5, 2009

No Camera!?

What a night to have your camera batteries run out on you. Saturday night was the Utah Cyclocross awards party and there was some good stuff to be seen. The theme was Talladega Nights and there was everything from sweet hair dos to full on car racing kits. Chris and I choose the "pit crew" route since one of our co-workers used to pit for Penske racing. Some folks had the coolest old sponsored racing jackets too (like Perrier). It was neat to see what people came up with.

This was the first time I had heard about the awards party and so it was nice to actually attend and play in the reindeer games!! I had no idea that they even had an cyclocross awards party until after the fact in the past. Whoops.

But I will tell you what, you don't have to say "Theme party" twice before I am there already. Love them!

Wow, Chris with hair!! Cool.

The whole outfit

Not sure the Utah crowd was digging the Marlboro/ Miller advertising.

Hugh? Whaaaat?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Party Hardy

Yeah, well not really. Remember I AM a bike racer after all. We didn't even make it to midnight and left the party early - shocker. The Sherwins are just so much fun aren't they? But Chris is a tad tired as you can see here and has a super long week ahead of him. The boy needs rest!

How can I take Eric seriously at all with that thing on his head?

Our CA crew of Jaclyn, Kristin and Eric.

As for resolutions?? I kind of don't go there but I do go in the direction of setting goals. I definitely have some cycling goals for the 09 mtb and cross season along with some smaller personal/self improvement goals that I have been trying to ease into for a while. Hopefully 09 will seal the deal on those self goals. Habits can be hard to break!